Drum scanner: lines appeared

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Since we have a few scanner operators out there, I am placing this in case someone could help me. I have a 3 pass drum scanner (ScanMate Plus). About a year ago, it stopped working properly and lines appeared, visible in the dark areas of the images. As I was a bit tired of using this very slow scanner, I purchased a new so called 48 bits D4,2 flatbed scanner. I can do most of my commercial work on it, but when it comes to scans for fine prints, then I really miss the detailed shadows, rich true colors and native sharpness of my old drum scanner (6 years is much in computer age). ScanView has now been sold to Purup Eskofot, and the service is on the other side of the country. More, I think these guys are new to these drums and I fear to send it for the cost of the repair my talk me out of my scanner. It would be easier for me to talk with them if I had a clue on where the problem lies. Has anyone had the lines problem and know what it took to mend it? (The Xenon lamp has been replaced without improving the results)

-- Paul Schilliger (pschilliger@smile.ch), August 10, 2000


I answer my own question. In a first attempt to get support from the technical service, I was told I had to send the scanner in and they might have to send it to Denmark. In a recent contact they gave me a cost estimate of around $ 3K for a servicing in Denmark, which was about or even more than the actual scanner value. Quite stubborn nature, I've recently been digging out an old basic plug'in for that scanner that scans into memory instead of scanning to disk. I installed and used it with amazing disappearence of the lines. After I contacted and informed the technical service who transmitted to ScanView, I was given the following hint: deleting all the scanner software preferences from the preferences folder in my computer. I did so and found a healthy scanner in no time (reinstalling software just wasn't enough). It took a year and a lot of vain attempts before I got the right advice. Fortunate enough that I did not depend on it for my daily bread! There was a post yesterday on traditional versus computerized photography. The electronic is great, but if it is always possible to fix an enlarger, when it comes to electronics...one has to depend upon obscure, expensive services or spend much time and energy trying to find the way out. Oh, analog photography has it's bugs too. Just two weeks ago, I had my lab have a tray unhook in the E6 chain and half of the sheets from a week trip 400 km away where totally washed out. Never mind, next time success may be there!

-- Paul Schilliger (pschilliger@smile.ch), September 03, 2000.

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